Andy Wilson, Head of Media, Dropbox, shares his insights about the state of the European media industry and how technology is fundamentally shifting the way professionals collaborate and communicate.

Media industry trends for 2020: Collaboration culture, remote working and voice assistants for everything

A clashing of cultures & the future of collaboration in the media

The emerging workforce spent their formative years collaborating through online services, competing in e-Sports, and solving problems remotely through their games console, mobile or tablet. They have got used to, and excelled at, creating, developing, competing and succeeding through headsets and remote screens.

But when they get to work, they are told to hang their real life at the door. Forget how well they have learnt to work together digitally. We first saw this with social media in the mid-2000s when businesses failed to embrace the expertise of new workers, eventually realising that their customers wanted a new engagement model. But there were casualties and disaffected workers along the way.

As we progress through 2020, we will begin to see the emergence of a new working culture, proliferated by those that believe in a more intuitive way of working, getting on with the roles they can be trusted to do by means that suit them best.

Agencies on the move. Homewards

An army of creative producers, designers, writers and reporters are working on any platform, at any time, conceiving and releasing ideas on the go. Imagine you are making a natural history documentary. The filming rarely happens in the office – the penguins just don’t like it – so teams have learnt to be flexible in how and where work gets done. For Creative Agencies, working from home is becoming the default location. Workers will need to become much more deliberate with the things they say and do to get the job done.

We have seen this with digital agencies we work with, passing the parcel of creative production from remote worker to remote worker – but now they can choose the best talent in the world, rather than who is nearest to the office.

Voice Assistants for meetings, interviews, life

Google recently added live voice transcription to its Pixel 4 mobile platform. This builds on the popularity of Alexa, Google Home and Siri as in-home smart speakers. Of course, ‘the magic’ of all these services is based on super-fast voice processing.

But what happens when you take this smart home technology and apply it to your work life? You can start using action words in meetings, delivering instant interview transcripts to journalists, even automatically drafting up one-to-one write-ups. The future is already here at Dropbox –thanks to partners Otter and Simon Says – but we are imagining where this might go next. We think that this will be the year that speech-to-text productivity starts to speed up production, driving huge efficiencies for all sorts of businesses.

Taking a reality check with 5G and VR

Throughout 2020 teams will be inundated with conferences and hype about 5G. The technology will be transformational, but there needs to be fundamental changes across systems, infrastructure, investment and approaches to business to take full advantage. 5G isn’t really the change, it’s everything that stems from that.

VR is an amazing technology that promises great opportunities for education, training and certain technical roles. But it’s still too clunky for the family experience, and the tech giants appear to share that view. On the other hand, AR could be very transformational in the short term and there are some great applications in the retail space in particular.

The real revolution in our opinion is that upgraded connectivity will unlock new opportunities for cloud and remote production, allowing teams to stay at base and send content to other stakeholders and collaborators. This will generate massive savings in CO2, travel costs and time, and it’s these factors we’re most excited about.

By Andy Wilson

Head of Media

Dropbox

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